Labour Pains 3

An interactive history of 'Labour pains' from the Labour Party archives

The Foundation of the Parliamentary Labour Party

29 Labour Representation Committee (LRC) members were elected at the 1906 general election and they founded the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Ramsay MacDonald becomes Prime Minister

Labour and the Liberals form a coalition government, after the 1924 general election results in no overall majority. Ramsay MacDonald becomes Labour's first Prime Minister.

Collapse of the MacDonald Government

Following cabinet deadlock over measures to tackle Britain's spiralling economic problems, the Labour government resigns. MacDonald establishes the National Government, and the Labour Party becomes the opposition.

The ILP votes to leave the Labour Party

After Labour's disastrous election performance in late 1931, a special conference of the Independent Labour Party votes to disaffiliate from the Parliamentary Labour Party, by 241 votes to 142. The already depleted Labour Party lose the support of the ILP's remaining five MPs.

The Socialist League holds inaugural meeting

ILP members opposed to disaffiliation from the Labour Party, along with leading socialists, form The Socialist League. The SL aims to formulate socialist policies while maintaining party unity. GDH Cole is a strong influence on the new organisation, helping to form SL policy.

Clement Attlee elected Labour Party leader

When George Lansbury resigns, Clement Attlee is elected as interim leader. Attlee oversees Labour's partial recovery in November's general election and is elected as the permanent leader on November 25th.

The 'Unity Campaign' and Tribune launched

Following the failed attempts of the United Front, members of the ILP, the Socialist League and the Communist Party are signatories for a new manifesto designed to revitalise Labour politics. In response, the Labour Party disaffiliates the Socialist League from its organisation. Tribune weekly magazine is launched to support the campaign and soon becomes an influential publication.

The Socialist League dissolves

In response to Labour Party expulsion, the executive of the Socialist League unanimously votes to dissolve the organisation, to allow supporters to continue campaigning within the Labour Party.

Sir Stafford Cripps expelled from Labour Party

The Labour Party's National Executive Committee votes to expel Cripps from the Party, after he refuses to withdraw a popular front memorandum against fascism.

Churchill appoints Cripps as Ambassador to the Soviet Union

As part of his wartime coalition government, Winston Churchill appoints Cripps as ambassador to the Soviet Union. Still exiled from the Labour Party, Cripps plays a key role in establishing Britain's alliance with the Soviet Union.

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